Summary: Palm Sunday Sermon
Save Us, We Pray!
Introduction – The spring of 33 AD was a time of great contrasts for Jesus and His followers. On one hand His ministry had never been more successful. Jesus has had the opportunity to share deep spiritual truths with not only the disciples, but with the much larger crowd of people that followed Him wherever He went. He is reaching people that no one thought could be reached for the Kingdom of God. Zacchaeus, a Roman tax collector gave his life to Jesus and was changed forever. A change has come over the longtime followers of Jesus as well. Now, for some reason, they were able to call people they had once despised Brother—deep down inside their very being they felt differently, they loved people they used to hate. It was a remarkable thing to see.
Yet, on the other hand, there were those who hated Jesus to the very ground that He walked on. The Pharisees, the ones who had always gone out of their way to show off their religion and so many others who thought they were in the know, couldn’t stand Jesus, and wanted to see Him dead. And now in the face of this huge contrast we’ve come to a crossroads.
Jesus has been talking about going to Jerusalem, but those closest to Him have been advising against it, thinking that nothing good could come of it. Yet in spite of their admonitions Jesus seems determined to go. Now, it was time for the Passover celebration, and if Jesus was going to go, now was going to be the time. As a matter of fact His coming or not was a hot topic of conversation in the temple courts. Read John 11:55 – 57.
It was decision time for a lot of people, not just Jesus. The disciples, and those who had been so closely associated with His ministry had to decide where they would be if Jesus did go on to Jerusalem. Would they go with Him, risking their own lives to show their allegiance to Him? Or would they lay back a bit to see how things panned out before declaring themselves for Him? But then how could they really call themselves committed to Jesus if they only followed Him when things were safe?
The decision was made to cast their lot with Jesus, come what may. He meant more to them than life itself, and they couldn’t leave Him now. This was a time to celebrate not to shrink. They knew something others hadn’t figured out—The King was coming.
Song: “The King is Coming”
I. The Triumphal Entry (Matthew 21:1 – 11)
Talk about casting your lot with Jesus! Being a part of something is one thing, but having a parade
to announce it is something completely different. Without shame or reservation they offered praise and honor to the one who came in the name and power of the Lord.
This entrance into the city wasn’t what they were used to—it was different. It was common. When kings or governors traveled it was always with fanfare
and majesty. There were heralds that announced their coming. There were beautifully adored chariots that displayed all the trappings of royalty. There was always a royal guard to keep onlookers at a
distance. It was something to behold.
I remember a few years ago, while vacationing in Florida, that then President Clinton flew into Orlando to see the devastation of tornado’s that had struck the area. It just so happened that his airplane flew, at a very low altitude, right over the home we were renting. Everyone in the neighborhood was outside watching as this huge airplane with the words United States of America emblazoned on the side. Two smaller fighter jets escorted it, and you knew immediately that somebody important was on that plane.
When Jesus came to Jerusalem there was no such
preparation made for His coming. Their was no royal chariot, just a borrowed donkey to ride on.
A donkey is a beast of burden – their gait, although
steady make them uncomfortable to ride. Only the poor and common would choose such an animal.
There was no uniformed heralds prepared trumpet His
entrance into the city. Their were no soldiers prepared to go along with Him. But there is a beauty, a glory, which far surpasses anything that man can generate that is seen and heard in the praises of these people.
Praise is what was offered to Jesus as He came to Jerusalem. They took their outer garments laid them as a royal robe on the donkey Jesus rode. They laid them, along with palm branches as carpet of honor for Jesus enter the city on. Some went in front of Him, and still other behind shouting praises to His name.